6 Christmas markets to add to your bucket list

The perfect excuse for a weekend getaway!

If you’re looking for the perfect place to soak up the festive cheer, drink mulled wine, and shop until you drop, then look no further. Here’s our guide to the most magical Christmas markets in Europe that should be on your travel bucket list, for this year or next.

Tivoli Gardens

Copenhagen, Denmark
17 Nov - 31 Dec
Best for: lights, rides, and performances

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The enchanting Tivoli Gardens and amusement park get transformed into a twinkling winter wonderland and Scandi-chic Christmas market for the festive season. Real-life reindeer, roller coasters, and stalls selling Danish handicraft are lit up by thousands of fairy lights designed by Tiffany & Co.’s lead designer, John Loring. Indulge in freshly brewed gløgg and delectable Danish treats, as well as live music concerts — Copenhagen does Christmas spirit right!

Plaisirs D’Hiver (Winter Wonders)

Brussels, Belgium
30 Nov - 6 Jan
Best for: a sugar high

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If you’re looking for a Christmas market experience that is a feast for all senses, Brussels hits the sweet spot — literally. Glorious smells linger throughout the entire market area, stretching over a kilometre. Devour fresh Belgian waffles, caramelised apples, and croustillons (dangerously-delicious sugared doughnuts). Work off your sweet treats by ice-skating, dancing to the brass band, riding the Ferris wheel and shopping for trinkets like nutcrackers and handcrafted Christmas tree decorations.

Valkenburg Christmas City

Limburg, Netherlands
17 Nov - 7 Jan
Best for: something unique

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If you're after a memorable change from the usual Christmas market set up, discover the labyrinth of tunnels and grottos beneath Valkenburg. The rich smells, sights, and sounds of the festive season are amplified in this unique underground market. Stalls sell everything from hand-blown glass to handmade wreaths and sweet Dutch delicacies like stroopwafels and poffertjes — mini pancakes from heaven. As well as the Christmas caves, there is a Santa’s village, Christmas parade, and the Fairytale Forest. Festive fun for the whole gang!

Tallinn Christmas Market

Tallinn, Estonia
24 Nov - 5 Jan
Best for: a white winter wonderland

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If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas (market), then Tallinn is a dream come true! The quaint and cosy market in the centre of this medieval town gets blanketed in snow every year. What better way to peruse local art and handmade wreaths, sample sweet delicacies, and sip piping hot mulled wine than amongst snow-covered stalls, illuminated snow sculptures, live music, and Estonia’s largest Christmas tree? Sold!

Colmar Christmas Markets

Colmar, France
23 Nov - 30 Dec
Best for: fairytale setting

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As if right out of a storybook, Colmar’s colourful buildings are lit up like a Christmas tree and every bit just as charming. Six traditional markets — offering artisanal foods, handcrafted gifts, and decorations — wind through the medieval town centre, located in the heart of the Alsace wine region. The fairytale-setting is the ideal place to stock up on handmade holiday goodies whilst being serenaded by a choir. Something for children and adults alike!

Zagreb Christmas Market

Zagreb, Croatia
23 Nov - 30 Dec
Best for: first-timers

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Unbeknown to many, this Croatian Christmas market has been capturing hearts all over the world — winning the coveted title of Best Xmas Market a few years running. Festivities are spread over the city, tree-lined avenues are lit up by lanterns, and the old music pavilion looks like a little glittering palace.

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